My friend and fellow #BlogPals19 blogger, Cathy explored the topic of physical books vs electronic books, which I thought was interesting.

The Kindle has been the best thing and the most dangerous thing for me. I love books. In fact, you might say I’m addicted to books. I have to have them. Without books and music, there is no life for me. The problem with the Kindle is the books are too easy to obtain. If I come across a title while surfing the Net and it’s in the Kindle store, chances are I’ll buy it! Versus back in the day, pre-kindle, I’d have to make the trek to a bookstore to try and find the book (which was an adventure in itself).

I used to love going to the bookstore, new or used, and wander around and browse for hours until something caught my eye and then I’d buy it, take home and read it from cover to cover (however long that took).

My love of books goes way back to before school. I was far ahead of the other kids my age when came to reading. I was so good in fact, that for English I was bumped up a grade. I hated it because it meant for that hour or so I had to leave my friend and go to class with kids older than me! I didn’t really dig that.

The library was my sanctuary. I would walk 5 miles to go spend the whole day in the post library. I’d wander up and down the library stacks sometimes in science, other times in history or literature or mechanics, it didn’t matter. I read anything and everything I could get my hands on.

Even now, my bookshelves are filled with books on many different subjects.

I don’t tend to read cover to cover anymore, not in one shot, but over time as i dip in and out of the books i have on the go unless the book has not lived up to its promises and is terrible, then happy to abandon it. Whereas before when i bought a physical book, i read it from cover to cover regardless. if it was bad, i’d suffer through it.

Now i think the Kindle feels much like surfing the web. I mostly read on the Kindle iPad app, even though i do have a physical Kindle, i tend only to read that on holiday in an anticipation of reading on a beach or mountain or lake somewhere out in the sun. Plus the Kindle on the iPad is easier to highlight and use the note function or to screenshot a passage to share on the social web.

Here are my last 10 books I bought and am currently reading:

The bottom line for me is that I love books. Yes, I do love the feel of a physical book in my hand, on the hand, I love the convenience of having a huge library in my pocket as well as the instant purchase without having to leave the comfort of my reading chair.

“One place comprehended can make us understand other places better.” So wrote Southern novelist Eudora Welty in her essay “Place in Fiction,” and it’s a concept well worth thinking about in an era in which communities and countries feel paradoxically fractured and all-encompassing, in which people feel torn apart and thrown together, all at once. At times like these, it is not a bad thing to step away from the bigger picture and focus on something smaller, as a way of re-orienting yourself in this world. – from A Nonfiction Map Of The United States

Kristin Iversen has compiled a list of the best pieces of nonfiction — books, essays, memoirs — from every state in the US (plus DC and NYC).  It’s a way, through reading, to get to know a place.

At times like these, it is not a bad thing to step away from the bigger picture and focus on something smaller, as a way of re-orienting yourself in this world.   And what better way to do that than by reading? The very best writing about a place can bring the reader a whole new understanding of a life different than their own, as well as, per Welty, a better grasp of their own place in the world.

Here’s a list from the States I’ve lived in:

New Jersey (my home State): 12 Days of Terror – A definitive investigation of the 1916 New Jersey Shark Attacks, by Richard G. Fernicola

New York: The Most Exclusive Restaurant in America, by Nick Paumgarten

Georgia: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: a Savannah Story, by John Berendt

New Mexico: New Mexico, by D.H. Lawrence

See more…